Translation vis-à-vis democratic deficit in the digital era: Policies, practices and possibilities of institutional translation in increasingly diverse societies


  • M. Rosario Martín Ruano GIR TRADIC (Translation, Ideology, Culture) University of Salamanca, Spain


institutional translation, democracy, multilingualism, asymmetry, power


This article addresses the seemingly indisputable association between multilingualism, translation and democracy that is often expressed or implied in official institutional discourses at national and international levels. To this end, based on recent approaches from disciplines including political theory, sociology and translation studies, the author critically examines the interrelationship between translation policies and practices and democracy, which is itself considered to be a concept “in translation”. Additionally, by drawing on a number of examples from different institutional settings, this article sheds light on some of the challenges facing institutional translation in today’s digital age. Here, institutional translation emerges as an unavoidably political and interventionist task that is conditioned by—and an active part of—the asymmetrical dynamics which exist between identities in the increasingly technologised and diverse societies of our global era.